Sunday, September 4, 2016

Martha Did That Which Was Necessary, Mary Did That Which Was Needful

Luke 10:38-42 "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving and came to him and said, Lord, dost thou not care that hath left me to serve alone?  bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: And Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." 

The account we read concerning Martha and Mary reveals that both Martha and Mary lived in the village of Bethany.  Lazarus was their brother.  Martha had received Jesus into her home with his journey into Bethany.  She was very hospitable.  She fixed Jesus a supper in John 11.  From all accounts Martha was a very hospitable lady.  She was very resourceful.  However, with all the responsibilities she had with serving, she was very cumbered about with much serving.  So much so she even complained about Mary not helping her and beseeched the Lord to persuade Mary to help her.  The Lord replied and told Martha that she was troubled about many things, but that Mary hath chosen the good part, which was to sit at Jesus' feet and worship Him. 

To make one thing clear, the Lord wasn't making light of Marta's serving.  That was necessary.  However, you can't place an undue premium on Mary sitting at Jesus' feet.  The scripture gives no indication that Mary was lazy.  If Mary was lazy, then I believe the Lord would've addressed the situation.  But instead, the Lord was telling Martha that as important as serving is, you can't neglect that needful part.

In our world today, it can be very easy for Christians to be cumbered about with the work of God. God has a work for his people to do which is called the Great Commission in Mark 16:15. What is the definition of cumbered?  It means to be weighed down or distracted  We can be easily distracted with the work of God to the point that we can "get burned out", as the old saying goes.  We can become so wrapped up in the work of God and fail to do that which is needful which is to "sit at Jesus' feet." 

This thought came to me the other week.  If Martha had chosen the needful part, then maybe she wouldn't be cumbered about with much serving.  Maybe she wouldn't have complained about what she thought was Mary's lack of help.  I believe if Martha had chosen the good part, then she would've been re-energized.  Her purpose for her serving would've been renewed.  That's one man's opinion.  It's real easy to be so engrossed in the work of God that you can be burned out after doing it day after day, time after time. It never ends.  But if we don't neglect our spiritual life concerning sitting at Jesus' feet, then our purpose for everything we do concerning the work of God will be made fresh and anew.  When we sit at His feet, it reminds that living life is all about living for Jesus.  To die is gain but to live is Christ.  Our whole purpose in life revolves around Jesus and when we communion with him, it enables us in our service for Christ.  One of the ingredients that's missing in many saved people's life is a lack of worship.  But when we implement worship in our lives, our whole purpose changes because we see it's all about Him.

Christians that are truly spiritual have a healthy combination of both service to God and Worship of Him. You can't ignore all the necessary things that have to be done in life.  But serving God can seem to be drudgery if the element of worship is missing.  Serving God isn't easy and more times than not only a fraction of the membership in most churches are the ones responsible for performing all the work that takes place in the church.  Sometimes serving God means you will be taken advantage of. Also, many times you may serve in the church and may not be appreciated for your efforts.  That happens time and time again.  That's why you can't neglect the needful part in your life.  There are numerous Christians that are cumbered about with much serving.  And they are lacking in their spiritual devotion to the Lord.  That can affect their motives and their purpose in their service to the Lord. But if they choose that needful part, then it will revolutionize their life and their purpose for serving.  It will cause then to continue in their service to God.  You can be weary in well doing if you're not careful.  When you sit at His feet, you plainly see that everything you do in life is about Him.  You can't neglect that needful part in your life. 

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